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Nothing to see here.
That’s the message from Masters Tournament officials over an incident involving Brooks Koepka’s caddie that sent Golf Twitter into a meltdown during the opening round at Augusta National.
A clip widely shared on social media appeared to show Ricky Elliott, Koepka’s long-time looper, mouthing the word “five” in the direction of Gary Woodland’s caddie on the 15th hole.
Many took that to be Elliott telling Thomas Little what club Koepka had just hit.
With Woodland yet to play, that would have been a breach of Rule 10.2(a) and punishable by a two-shot penalty.
Here’s the clip that set tongues wagging…
— Zane Ellis (@StretchZEllis) April 6, 2023
However, Masters officials were quick to put the matter to bed.
A statement released by them after the round said: “Following the completion of Brooks Koepka’s round, the Committee questioned his caddie and others in the group about a possible incident on No.15.
“All involved were adamant that no advice was given or requested. Consequently, the Committee determined that there was no breach of the Rules.”
Koepka carded a seven-under 65 to be tied for the lead after the opening round alongside Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland.
Know the rule…
Rule 10 – Advice and Other Help
Purpose of Rule: A fundamental challenge for the player is deciding the strategy and tactics for their play. So there are limits to the advice and other help the player may get during a round.
During a round, a player must not:• Give advice to anyone in the competition who is playing on the course,
• Ask anyone for advice, other than the player’s caddie, or
• Touch another player’s equipment to learn information that would be advice if given by or asked of the other player (such as touching the other player’s clubs or bag to see what club is being used).
This does not apply before a round, while play is stopped under Rule 5.7a or between rounds in a competition.
General Penalty: In both match play and stroke play, the penalty is applied in this way:• Player Asks For or Gives Advice When Either Player Is Playing Hole. The player gets the general penalty on the hole being played just completed.
• Player Asks For or Gives Advice When Both Players Are Between Play of Two Holes. The player gets the general penalty on the next hole.
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